By KEVIN WADLOW
September 22, 2012 11:00 AM EDT
A formal letter of censure tells Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi that his role in the Iphone/iPad theft scandal caused "considerable embarrassment."
Monroe County commissioners approved the letter for his personnel file at its meeting Friday in Marathon with no public or board discussion.
The matter was debated in a Sept. 10 special meeting where commissioners voted not to fire the four-year administrator from his $189,090 annual post. Gastesi then apologized for his error in judgment that caused a "black mark for county government."
"I'm glad we got rid of this distraction," Gastesi after the letter was approved Friday. "The [county] train has not jumped the tracks, and now we can start to pick up speed."
"Even with all the distractions and everything that happened, we've had a good six months," Gastesi said.
Also approved Friday was a contract with former Judge David Kirwan and retired Sheriff Rick Roth to handle disciplinary hearings for other county employees linked to the scandal. Kirwin will get $250 an hour to be a hearing officer, Roth $50 an hour to be an investigator.
As part of his agreement with the county, Gastesi will pay for Roth and Kirwan's services.
Gastesi paid $899 to Lisa Druckemiller, the county's former Technical Services director who resigned in February, for four iPhones and an iPad computer tablet with a total value of $2,329.
Druckemiller is accused of stealing 52 county-owned iPhones and iPads and either selling them or giving them to co-workers, friends and family. She purchased the electronics at full price, using county funds.
She's charged with scheme to defraud and dealing in stolen property, and is expected to negotiate a plea with prosecutors.
In the letter of reprimand, Mayor David Rice wrote to Gastesi that "as the county administrator, you are to be held to a higher standard of conduct than other employees. In fact, you are expected to set the example for all other employees to follow. In this matter, you have failed to meet that expectation."
Rice continued, "While your conduct in this episode has caused considerable embarrassment to the county and distraction from our mandate, we find that your overall performance as county administrator, to date, has been a benefit to the county. We therefore decline to exercise our right to terminate your employment agreement and issue this letter of reprimand instead.
"However, you are hereby placed on notice that any further incidents of this nature or others causing disrepute to the county will not be tolerated."